Changing My Course

Around this time, every year, I get a little nostalgic. The end of a year always makes me a little gloomy. I look back and reflect on events and experiences that took place throughout the year, however trivial but made an impact on me and changed the way I think.

Today I got misty eyed as I realized I’m not exactly where I wanted to be at this point of time in my life. Things have changed so much in these last 6 months, it’s hard to believe.

The most drastic change was changing my course.

It feels like only yesterday I had stepped into my college full of enthusiasm and slightly nervous. My father was the happiest. He never ceased to remind me that it’s one of the best colleges and that I should make the best use of every opportunity. The first two months went by in the blink of an eye with no problems whatsoever but in the third month, it finally sunk in that I hated my course (Bachelor in Financial Market). As another month passed I no longer had any interest or motivation to pursue it any further. I had only applied for BFM thinking it would please my father and my mother didn’t really approve of the mass media course. Also how hard could it be? It turns out, while some of the subjects were easier to comprehend the others were too technical for me. I worked hard to grasp certain concepts but it completely flew over my head. One day, out of the blue, my father asked me if I was happy doing BFM. I lied for fear of disappointment but it is at that moment that it hit me how unhappy my course made me. One of my professors had sensed the tension and had called me to her office right before my final semester exams one fine day. She didn’t tiptoe around the question and asked me if I was going through a hard time. I couldn’t contain it anymore and blurted out the truth. She also told me that my attendance was short and that according to the college policy and rules, my parents would have to come and sign. I was so distraught, I panicked and cried over and over again and didn’t attend college for a few more days.

Then I took the hardest decision of my life.

I decided to tell my parents I wanted to drop my course and pursue what I always wanted to do. Bachelor in Mass Media.

I mustered courage and called my father. The relief that washed over me was tremendous. It felt like a burden was lifted off of me. My parents along with my brother came and stayed for a week. My documents were taken back and in September I finally bid adieu to my first college.

Now, I have finished my A1 level of French and I’m doing a Diploma in Advertising, Media and Events. I will apply for BMM next year when the admissions open.

While all this was going on, that same professor called me up everyday to ask how I was. There were days when I didn’t attend her call because I was so ashamed of myself but she never gave up on me. She is undoubtedly one of the people I’ll never forget in my entire lifetime. My father was very supportive and my mother was plain remorseful for not letting me choose my own field of study. My hostel mates, now my best buddies, helped me deal with things one at a time. They were my backbone all the way through.

Even though I’m happy I sailed through one of the worst phases of my life, I’m still not a hundred percent content and I probably wouldn’t be till I join a proper college next year.

I hope this New Year brings lady luck to my doorstep and new opportunities to exploit.  


Posted in confessions | 4 Comments

Pre-College Jitters

I’m leaving tomorrow evening and will reach on 20th morning to attend the orientation with dad. It’ll be a long and tiresome journey. I’m getting jittery with every passing minute. I’m nervous beyond belief. I’ve heard about awful college experiences and I’m scared stiff those things may happen to me. I’ve been told it’s normal to feel this way and maybe I’ll calm down once I get settled but for now I’m scared to death.

As trivial as they may sound, these are the things I’m worried about:

1. Course

The course my dad suggested that I eventually applied for is comparatively tougher than the rest and there is maths in the first semester. I can’t do maths to save my life. I’m that bad at it. Also I didn’t have maths as an additional subject in 12th grade so I will have to work extra hard to cover the basics and ensure that I don’t lag behind. The college is known for being strict about assignments and attendance. I really hope I can cope with the syllabus with ease and not tick off any professor in my first year at least.

2. Room-mates

I’ve never shared a room with anyone other than my brother who I could convince to let me read in the bathroom an extra 10 minutes. The idea of sharing personal space with 3 other girls I haven’t met is just terrifying. I’m very particular about sanitation. What if one of them leaves wads of hair clogging the shower drain? I’m an easy person to get along with and I try to stay on friendly terms with everyone but I’m not a people pleaser. Sure I can turn a deaf ear to gossips and deal with people diplomatically but I can’t tolerate unnecessary offensive behaviour. A girl’s hostel is the last place to expect civility. It is an inborn tendency in girls to bitch. And the same old exasperating question “What if I don’t like my room-mates or worse what if they don’t like me?” I don’t want to get on the wrong side of someone I have to live with!

3. Friends

To be brutally honest, I’ve always had pleasant good-natured friends who I can depend on and vice versa. The type of friends only fortunate people find. But this time I want to make friends who are as daring, adventurous and spontaneous as me. I don’t mean people who do drugs and smoke just to “Fit In” but crazy fun-loving people I can have the time of my life with, without being judged or taken advantage of. I get hurt easily because I trust people easily. I find it hard to believe anybody would lie about their feelings but blind faith usually results in heartbreak. I want to make friends who I will remember for years to come. Will I be lucky enough to find such people and befriend them?

4. Appearance

I may be mature (a little) but I’m extremely self conscious like most 17 year olds. I hate having acne in all the awkward places and it just adds fuel to the fire. It is understandable that a good college will have people dressing up to the nines and preening for hours before arriving in style. I don’t want to feel like a misfit and get hassled wondering all the time if my hair is in its place or if my clothes are too drab if I’m stuck with stick thin girls with larger than life egos. Even with a normal 21 BMI I don’t feel comfortable. I just wish college makes me learn about self acceptance.

5. Leaving home

I’ve always been the negotiator between mum and dad. Now they would have to learn to communicate on their own and live with each other as serenely as they can. My mum is an excellent cook. It is one of her many talents. For a foodie like me it’s nothing less than heaven to savour such mum-made delicacies every now and then. As much as she annoys me, I love her with all my heart. Her warmth radiates from within. Cracking lame jokes, high-fiving on them and the absence of her tender kisses before saying goodnight will be missed the most. Unlike me she still hasn’t wrapped her head around the fact that I’ll be gone for months. My dad is a witty intelligent man who has always provided the best for me and the whole family. I can always rely on him for good advice, to pick me up when I fall and to understand things I can’t put in words. He’s the “cool dad” everyone wants and I’m blessed to be his daughter.

Staying without both my parents for the first time is going to be harder than it seems.

Posted in confessions | 15 Comments

A New Beginning Has Started

The moment I stepped out of the airplane I fell in love with the city. I saw everything with new eyes and for a moment forgot all about my qualms. I walked the little distance to the airport enjoying the light drizzle. It was only when I hailed a cab with my parents all my nervousness came rushing back. This city overwhelms you with its soaring buildings and opulent showrooms yet calms you with the ocean gently lapping at the side of the road and almost a century old structures with magnificent architecture.

It is a city that never sleeps. There is hustle and bustle even in the dead of night.

It is a city that harbours people from all walks of life, from filthy rich to the dirt poor.

It is a city that has captured my heart with its uniqueness and simplicity.

The weather is as unpredictable as the people. It rains most of the time and there is no winter. An umbrella was my constant companion. The roads are not too wide yet accommodate traffic and girls here are safe from leering eyes. Everybody is busy in their own life.

I stayed in a 120 years old building. The barrack, as it is called, was just stunning. The room was airy, there was greenery all around. I could hear the wooden stairs creak under my foot.

Luckily my extended family was in the city too. It was such a nice surprise. We all had dinner together and believe it or not my mum was laughing the loudest among us. It was like a family reunion and I met them after such a long time. The best part was seeing my parents happy. Not once did they fight. My little cousin stayed the night with me and talked my ear off.

I barely slept. I kept tossing and turning thinking about the result, the main reason for which we travelled a thousand kilometres. I kept thinking “Have I made it to college?”

The next day I found out.

I got selected in the first cut off list itself. My parents and I were overjoyed. The campus of the college and the faculty is brilliant. My father helped me with the formalities of the admission form and later on we visited the hostel. I have to share a room with 3 other girls I don’t know yet and there is a fridge and a microwave on every floor. There is also a gym. What more could I ask for! The warden is really stern though, a typical no-nonsense lady.

I got a little panicky when I got to know that my college starts from 19th June. I think god laughed when my father made plans to stay till 16th as all colleges usually start in July. I couldn’t help but think “When will I get time to finally splurge on myself?? Here goes my meticulously thought out plan down the drain.”  

Now is the perfect time to practice the “be content, stay happy” rule.

So with barely 4 days in hand I and my family returned home to pack my things.However limited, I had an amazing time with my family. I will never forget the mental image of my mum and dad smiling and enjoying the breeze, without a care in the world.

Thank you god for these 3 peaceful days. :)

Posted in confessions | 5 Comments

Too good to be true

It’s too good to be true. This was the first thought that entered my mind but I brushed it off and chastised myself for being negative. I was over the moon when It dawned on me that I’d not only get admission in a good college situated in the heart of the metropolitan city and stay in a hostel with a legitimate curfew but also get a chance to make a fresh start, a chance to make a new untarnished and positive image. A brand new beginning.

Imagine my surprise when I was told that not only one but two girls, I never want to meet again, will be joining the same college for the same course. To add insult to injury, they’ll be staying in the same hostel. Alarm bells went off in my mind and all I could hear was my inner voice screaming “Oh god no no no. This can’t be happening.”

Of course, when has being optimistic ever worked in my favour? Army world is a small place and we’re destined to run into people we don’t particularly like in all parts of the country. I’ve waited all my life for this moment. To leave school and join a college where I wouldn’t be branded.

What hurts the most is that one of them is my childhood friend who shifted to a posh area a few years back and suddenly decided she was too good for me. I overlooked her avoidance for a busy schedule and continued to send her emails every month because I couldn’t bring myself to accept that the girl I’d spent half my childhood with had her nose stuck in the air. I eventually stopped contacting her and forgot all about her, until today.

The other girl is a person who judges’ people on the first look and her moods vacillate every other minute. She has a mean streak somewhere within her and her sugar coated words and innocent face can make people believe anything.

Before I can convince myself that it’s a big place and I can win over people, I realized that I’ve already stayed 10 days with these two when I went for the army camp 2 years ago and it is unlikely that they’ve fallen in love with me. I would’ve at least respected them if they had the backbone to say things about me on my face and not snicker behind my back. The only thing we have in common is we mutually dislike each other.

My flight leaves tomorrow afternoon and I feel nothing but hopeless and distraught. I don’t want to see the same old faces when I’m trying to renew my life and redeem myself. My past will never let go of me.

My usually morose friend said something that completely stunned me. I’m really impressed by her new found wisdom. She said “When god pushes you to the edge, he doesn’t let you fall but makes you learn how to fly”

I guess I’ll just have to hold on to hope and play the card I’ve been dealt.

Posted in confessions | 9 Comments

Grandma Don’t Come

If one problem dissipates another starts brewing. I’m feeling a myriad of emotions I’ve never felt even in my worst phases of life. Anger, helplessness, emptiness, hurt and humiliation. I’ve never felt so alone. There’s nobody to hold me and I need to be held because my hands are shaking and my knees will buckle any moment. I scroll through my phone’s contact list and there’s not a single person I can talk to. I couldn’t stay at home, pretend like nothing happened and listen to my neighbours console my hysterical mother and soothe my livid father so I walked all the way to a cyber café from where I’ll do the only thing I’m good at. I’ll write.

My father slapped my mother today just like he did two days ago. All because he wanted to bring grandma to this hellhole called home to stay with us and my mother created chaos over it. She really crossed her limits when she said nasty things about grandma. I cannot and absolutely WILL NOT listen to crap being said about the only person I’ve truly loved all my life.

I almost tied a noose around my neck when she called the neighbours to our place to witness the yelling match and made me the referee to decide who was right and who was wrong. When a frenzied woman shouts profanities and lies you’ve no choice but to believe her because there’s no smoke without a fire, right? Wrong. Yet another neighbour in another city knows our dirty secret.

My grandma is in her later seventies and has a heart of gold. Her family broke all ties with her when she married my grandpa. The man she loved with all her heart was from another religion and her family refused to accept that. They build a life from scratch and worked hard all their lives. My grandpa passed away 10 years ago and grandma deserves to live in peace. My mother doesn’t talk to her but calls her up whenever a fight takes place.

My poor old frail grandma has arthritis, diabetes, tinnitus, high blood pressure and god knows what more. Her daily dosage of a dozen medicines ensure she’s breathing. The last time she stayed with my neurotic mother she couldn’t survive for a week. I was 14 years old then. My mother didn’t take care of her at all and grandma got sick of listening to her daughter-in-law rant on and on about her eldest son. I wanted to jump off the goddamn building when my mother abused grandma but I realized at least somebody needed me at home. I shifted my bed to her room and spent as much time as I could with her. I would massage her legs, oil her hair, give her medicines on time, listen to her talk about her childhood and hold her hand when she cried about feeling neglected and utterly unloved.

My heart bled for her, every time.

As much as I love my grandma and understand my father’s sentiments about spending time with his mother, I don’t want her to stay in this highly hostile environment. My father doesn’t come home till 7 in the evening and I’ll be off to college in a few days. Who will take care of her, then?

If not by natural causes grandma will die of loneliness, suffocation and depression and I don’t want to lose her.

Posted in confessions | 8 Comments

College: A scary prospect

I slogged for a year, isolated myself, had frightening nightmares about failing but I passed. Actually, I did exceptionally well. I myself was surprised because I’ve always been an average student. My school life is over. The big bad world awaits me.

The feeling hasn’t sunk in yet.

My father had sat in front of the computer for hours, painstakingly collecting every vital piece of information about upcoming courses and good colleges.  Money was never a matter of concern. He wanted the best for me.

In a week or so, I may get admission in a top notch reputed college located in the financial capital of the country. My admission depends upon the cut off list and my folks are confident I’ll get through. I’ve my fingers crossed.

I’ve never been addicted to social networking sites the way people my age are but it does help when you’re trying to connect on a global level. So I put up queries regarding the college and the hostel which most probably would be my home for the next three years. One girl, out of the many who answered, messaged me and we began talking. She’s a year senior to me and resides in the said hostel. Slowly our conversation steered from college to hostel life. It is not an all-girls hostel but co-ed. She warned me about stoners, nasty girls and the curfew. Nothing I already didn’t know about but hearing it from a complete stranger made it even more real.

I think I almost hyperventilated when I went through her profile. She’s as pretty as a picture. I know I sound pathetic but my insecurity and body image complex have always hindered my progress. I’ve changed 9 schools, have seen nearly half of the cities in the country and have been fortunate enough to stay in the lush army cantonments. Being a military brat I’ve been exposed to all sorts of things and all kinds of people. I’m embarrassed to admit that I still don’t know how to react in certain situations and how to deal with people who try to walk all over me.

I’m not exactly good looking but I know I have a good heart. It just takes time for me to convince people about that. I lack self confidence, I’m easily misunderstood, I’m gullible, vulnerable and all the things I shouldn’t be.

I’m the paragon of the metaphorical phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover”

What if my room-mates don’t like me? Will I ever feel comfortable in my own skin? Will they ever accept me for who I am, acne and piercings galore?

My deep-seated pessimism once again overpowers my blissful state of mind.

I wish I could stay holed up in my cocoon. 

Posted in confessions | 12 Comments


My father is the eldest among his 2 siblings. My paternal aunt and paternal uncle both are blessed with a daughter and a son each. So I’ve a total of four paternal cousins. Because of the constant ego battles at my home and my mum’s rapidly changing behaviour, I hardly spent any time with my extended family. Even though they barely stayed at our place to avoid pointless quarrels, they welcomed us with open arms to stay at theirs.

Often my friends would proudly introduce me to their cousins and I would feel the familiar ache.

I and my cousins usually called each other on birthdays and important events. We would wish each other well, exchange pleasantries, make small talk and keep the phone. The conversation never lasted more than 5 minutes and it always seemed awkward. We had nothing to say to each other.

Everything changed when I stayed for a month with my paternal aunt and cousins two years ago. At first it felt really strange but after a while we warmed up to each other. My aunt is the most large-hearted woman I’ve ever come across and my elder cousin sister is a gem of a person. She’s sweet, kind, fun loving and wise beyond her years. My younger cousin brother is a geek whiz, an oddball and a gentle giant. They took me out almost every day, we went for sizzlers, saw movies at home, took a trip, stayed in tents, did white water rafting, rappelling and had the time of our lives. When my cousin sister came to stay with us, however brief the visit, I took her to see the local markets, we went to the malls, sang at the top of our voices, laughed and enjoyed each other’s company. Most importantly, I proudly showed her off to my friends.

She’s all I ever wanted in a big sister.

We haven’t met for quite some time but I look forward to meeting them.

I’ve never stayed with my paternal uncle’s family but I vaguely remember babysitting my 2 younger cousins years ago. They’re pious and conservative but friendly too. My younger cousin brother is relatively young and doesn’t really care about anything other than crashing cars into each other.

Recently their daughter, my younger cousin sister called to congratulate me for doing well in examinations. She sounded so grown up. I couldn’t even remember the last time I spoke to her. And when did she get a cell phone? Where has the time gone? I thanked her and asked if I could send messages on her number and she excitedly gave me her consent.

We’ve been messaging each other for weeks now, getting to know each other, talking about anything and everything. I started affectionately calling her “kiddo” even though she’s just 3 years younger to me. Her last message to me tonight was “You can call me anything you want, I like it and it’s great to have a big sis like you. Love you, goodnight”

My heart swelled with love.

I always wanted a baby sister.

My wish has been granted. :)

Posted in confessions | 3 Comments

Elder Brother

My brother is five and a half years older to me. He’ll turn 23 in October this year.

It saddens me to say that I don’t know my brother as well as I’d like to. In fact, truth be told I don’t know him at all. His likes, his dislikes. Nothing. I wonder what it feels like to share things with a sibling, to treat them as a lifelong friend.

I and my brother are just two strangers who belong to the same family. To say we’re different is an understatement. We’re poles apart. It’s not like we don’t get along, we just don’t know what makes the other person tick.

I hold a lot of grudges against him and it’ll like take time for me to forgive him.

An elder brother is supposed to protect his little sister, to keep her out of harm’s way. Mine doesn’t even know the R of responsibility. Throughout my childhood whenever a problem arose he ran away leaving me all alone. That just made matters worse because I had to single-handedly ensure my parents didn’t strangle each other to death while trying to keep myself together and to not crack under the immense pressure. Also my hysterical mother would make a hue and cry over her runaway son who would probably spend the night in some park. That not only infuriated my father but also the police who got tired of searching for a teenage boy hiding in some corner every fortnight.

He’s the apple of my mother’s eye and I don’t resent him for that but I wish he wouldn’t talk to her like she’s some lowly maid. He needs to understand that, no matter what, she’s his mother and insulting her and making jokes about her is not amusing at all. It is shameful. What hurts me the most is when my mother quietens down and turns a deaf ear to his insults. He fails to realize that this incredible woman has fought with me, our father, his teachers and the whole world to protect him EVEN when he was wrong.

He continues to disrespect her because she lets him get away with it.

Even after all our differences I tried to make up for lost time but he never appreciated my efforts because if he did he would’ve remembered to wish me before my final examinations, to call on my birthday and to not switch off the phone when I called him.

My brother is not a bad person, he just has demons of his own to deal with.
But he needs to stop blowing my father’s hard earned money on rolling joints.
He needs to stop being casual about things that matter in life.
He needs to pick himself up and fulfil his filial responsibilities.

He may not need me in his life but I’ve only one brother and I need him to act like one.

Posted in confessions | 2 Comments

Not so sane

Living with a parent who’s mentally unstable can have drastic and devastating effects.
Till now I’ve written about my family problems but in this post I’ll reveal my not so sane side.

Other than cutting, I’ve tried to intentionally injure myself a lot of times. I’ve tried to fracture my hand, to break my femur, to burn myself. I’ve even tried to make myself sick by swallowing pills. The list is endless.

I revel in my pain. I’m a masochist(non-sexual).

I create situations in my head about the ways I can stage my death so it can look like an accident. I scour the internet for ways to die. I think about death every single day, even when I’m genuinely happy. It has become an obsession. I’ve decided that I will commit suicide at the age of 27. Y’know, just to join the 27 club.

No matter how much I deny or try to make light of the situation, I’m undoubtedly suicidal.

My mum’s paranoia seems to have rubbed off on me. I constantly feel like someone is watching me. Sometimes I unconsciously glance around the room to see if anybody’s there. I can feel the hair on my nape rise then. Of course it can be my wild imagination.

I’m almost paranoid.

I fall in and out of love easily and my relationships don’t last longer than a few months or so. When things start getting serious, I run in the opposite direction as fast as I can. I make excuses, hurt the other person deliberately so they’ll hate me and when they don’t, I simply ask them “What did you ever see in me?” I don’t like myself so I don’t expect others to love me. I don’t even believe in the institution of marriage.

I’m a self deprecating commitment phobe.

Most of my friends outside school (I had to make a pony in school) have never seen me with tied hair. Never. I would rather perspire in the blazing sun than simply put my hair up. I hate my ears. I consider them a major flaw and I feel self-conscious all the time. I’m 132 lbs and 5’6” which according to normal people is healthy. But I feel fat. I can’t look at myself in the mirror without cringing. My body for me is not a temple but an eyesore. I can’t even imagine another person ever seeing me naked.

I’ve serious body image issues and weight complex.

I wish I was better but my flaws and oddities make me who I am. And I’m content with being flawed.

Posted in confessions | 8 Comments

Self Harm

I was in eighth grade in 2008.

It was in the year 2008 that self-injury became a physical outlet for my anger and frustration.

I remember the first time I cut myself, so vividly, as if it happened only yesterday and not years ago.My friend had invited me for a sleep over and I had begged and finally convinced my mum to say yes. On the day of the sleep over, she refused point blank. She refused to let me get out of the room itself. My friend lived down the lane so the distance wasn’t an issue and I had been on my best behaviour all week. There was absolutely no valid reason why I couldn’t go.

I remember bolting the bathroom and breaking my nail paint bottles one by one. I was crying so much I couldn’t think straight, so I picked up a shard of the broken glass and pierced my wrist with it. At first a thin red line appeared then slowly my crimson blood started oozing out, dripping on the floor.

I had never felt so relieved.

That was the beginning of my addiction.

In the years that followed, I moved from shards of glass to the blade inside sharpeners to paper cutters.  As much as I hated it, I grew my nails so I could dig them into my skin whenever I couldn’t find any sharp object.

I cut the most when the problems at my home were at peak. When my wrist was no longer a black canvas I pierced my ankles and my thighs. I cut myself when my boyfriend left me because I refused to have sex with him.

I cut myself when I was mistreated, manipulated, lied to and trampled upon. But the cuts were deeper when I was the one hurting people.

My friends who saw the cuts pleaded with me, threatened me, did everything a teenager could do, to stop me from continuing this habit. But they never knew the root cause so I shirked them off. What would they know, right?

It turns out I was wrong. They knew more about me than I could’ve ever imagined. They didn’t know about my family’s history of abuse but they could see my dropping grades, my deteriorating health, could sense the alienation I felt.

At least they knew more about me than my own parents. My parents till now have never spoken to me about my cuts. They never asked me the reason and they never even tried to stop me. Sometimes I could see them looking at my cuts from the corner of their eyes and wincing. I knew they were worried but they never showed it. A calm façade was not what I needed. I wanted to be caught, to be reprimanded.

My addiction of cutting is slowly decreasing but I admit I still cut myself when the pain becomes too much to bear.

These white lines etched on my wrist, thighs and ankles are a testimony of the battles I’ve fought alone.

Posted in confessions | 9 Comments

Life with a Schizophrenic Parent

It took me years to accept what I had known since I was 6 years old, that there was something gravely odd about my mum’s behaviour. I always knew that normal mothers didn’t shout at the television or pick fights unnecessarily. I was in denial till now but I don’t need a doctor to confirm it, it’s not rocket science.

My mother is schizophrenic.

My mum has always liked to sleep till late in the morning and I remember my father would hastily pack my lunch, back when I was in school. After a while I got tired of seeing my dad struggling in the kitchen first thing in the morning so I would take off early. I would somehow survive on an empty stomach till 2 pm, when I would come back from school. Tired and starving.

Mum is always talking. To herself, to the wind. She can even look me in the eye and talk about bizarre things but her words are never directed at me. She keeps the television on, round the clock, whether she or anybody else is watching it or not. She gets paranoid thinking that someone is watching us through the television and gets up at 3 am to check the doors. One moment she’s merrily laughing at something and then suddenly she’ll get furious. For no damn reason. But the worst part is that the furniture is never at the same place for more than a day or so. She has been continuously shifting and rearranging the furniture for decades now. When I was in school I used to dread coming home. I used to pray all the way home that please god let her be in a good mood and the furniture in its original place. I could sense her mood when she’d open the door.

She gets defensive very quickly and for no apparent reason. She’s always suspicious of people’s intent and some days she just wouldn’t stop talking. Her loud monologues were especially disturbing during my final examinations and her absence at my parent teacher meetings and school functions was heartbreaking. My father has been more of a mother to me than my own mum.

Our entire lives, even now, I and my family live according to her mood. If she’s angry, she refuses to talk to anyone and everybody is solemn for the rest of the day. I never take my happy family moments for granted, however few and fleeting, because I know it wouldn’t last.

Her loud monologues still continue and she still wakes up late but it doesn’t trouble me as much as it used to because I’ve realized her actions are not deliberate and  in her moments of lucidity, she becomes herself again, a beautiful, selfless mother who has nothing but her children’s best interest at heart.

She becomes lovable again.

Posted in confessions | 6 Comments

Domestic Violence

Definition- Violence that takes place at home, usually between husband and wife.

A simple statement that sums up what I’ve seen for a large portion of my life. Since a year there have been no violent fights but I can never be too sure. Raised voices and slamming doors still scare me. I hate my father for acting like a savage beast when he could’ve restrained his flaring temper and dealt with problems like sane people do. With words, not hands. But most of all, I hate my mother for provoking him, accusing him of having an extra-marital affair, accusing him of drugging her when she was pregnant and hundreds of other baseless things time and time again, lying through her teeth and screaming abuses at the top of her lungs in front of her two tiny terrified kids who hid behind the door, trying to block out the insults.  

I’ve carried the sickening images for far too long in my mind. Images of my mother clawing at my father’s face drawing blood while he tried to choke her. Images of my father dragging her off the bed and kicking her in the sides. Images of my mother trying to fracture his skull with a golf club.

He once locked her outside the house when she threatened to kill him and she woke the whole neighbourhood with her ear-splitting screams, banging on the door. I could have died of embarrassment that day. The day when everybody knew how broken my family was.

My father should be ashamed of his actions and he probably is, but he has always been the bad guy for my maternal family. Nobody ever saw the sacrifices my father made to keep her happy. I would always sit by my mum’s side, telling her how much she’s loved but when she started acting like a raving lunatic, it became harder to sympathize with her. Nevertheless, I scribbled on notes and stuck them on my father’s closet asking him to apologize to her which he always did but somehow my mother never heard the apologies and would create another scene shortly.

Whenever I tried to break their fights, unlike my elder brother who chose the easy way out and would run away every fucking time, I would be pushed away roughly and told to get out of the house. They never harmed me physically but mentally they scarred me for life.

After years of verbally, mentally and physically abusing each other my parents have made their peace. 

I wish they had done it sooner.

Posted in confessions | 10 Comments

My mother

My mother is an integral part of my life, the core of my existence and the kindest person I’ve ever come across.
The reason I’ve decided to write about her is because it’s been inside me for 17 long years and it’s time I let it out. Let it go. My friends who’ve met her once or twice (never more than that) liked her instantly. She’s the kind of a woman whose effervescent laugh is contagious, who isn’t afraid of being silly and who makes a place in everyone’s heart. She’s a very easy going lady.
Sometimes, at least.
The other side of her is hard to describe. I wish I could say she has been diagnosed with a mental illness but that hasn’t happened yet. But her erratic mood swings suggest otherwise.
In the company of people, she’s civil and charming but after a while she confines herself to her room, refuses to talk, lashes out at anyone who tries and then dissolves into tears. I myself have been the recipient of her anger at times.
My mother has tried to suicide.
Not once, not twice but thrice. It first hit me when I was seven years old. She was screaming at the television, sobbing and the next moment she had a knife in her hand.
I remember not sleeping even a wink because I knew it would cost me her life. My father is unaware of it because initially he was never at home. Having a father in the Armed Forces has its downside too. Shifting every year, meeting new people can soon tire you out. New lies to new friends. Putting up a brave front all over again to hide the hurt inside. There’s only so much you can endure. Burdened by the weight of having a “dysfunctional” family.
Fortunately he was at home the day my mother almost succeeded in her attempt. I knew something was wrong when she bought hair dye. She never dyed her hair. I remember waking up to an empty house, the words of our housemaid bounce off the walls, feel like molten glass in my ears. I remember wearing the synthetic blue cloth before entering ICU.
I remember seeing dye stains at the corner of her mouth.
That was 8 years ago. I’ve no idea what drove her to take such an extreme step. 5 years ago she ran away though she returned at night. It was the first and the last time I saw my father cry. Since then she hasn’t done anything of that sort. I know she loves us too much to leave us.
I’ve grown up with slamming doors, blaring television to drown her endless monologue, dreading every day, praying she won’t do something hasty, hoping she won’t delve into her clinical depression.
I’ve grown up with boundless love, have been extremely pampered, given the liberty to make mistakes and forgiven for unpardonable sins.
If I had written this a year before and someone had asked me if this was fiction, I wouldn’t have thought twice before saying yes. But I stayed without my mother last year and saw her a total of 4 weeks. Distance fostered love I didn’t think I was capable of feeling. Even if given a choice, I wouldn’t ask for a different family. I love all of them, specially my mother, the way they are. As a whole.
Things are a lot better now and I hope it stays the same. I’m not seeking help or sympathy or even attracting attention to my problems. I’m simply unburdening my heart.
There are many like me out there, venting in the wrong ways, seething, blaming themselves.
May God bless them and give them the will to pull through.
It was extremely difficult for me to write this because people who know her would look at her from a different perspective now.
Yes, I’ve been strong throughout, faltering some days, but I will not let my past make me bitter only better.
Posted in confessions | 19 Comments